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Old 31-07-2015, 10:54   #1
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Mast rewiring advice

Hi again. I truly do appreciate the advice.

I am going to run new wires for LED lighting and a VHF antenna and wanted some advice on getting the wiring up the mast. Pics are included.

The wire runs in a tube built into the inside front of the mast. I have never seen this before (this is my first blue water cruiser--if you can call it that).

I know about the trick of tying a string or wires to the old ones and pulling them through, but the smallness of the "conduit" makes me wonder if I am going to run into trouble.

Has anyone done wiring in a mast like this and do you have any good tricks or cautions?

The "outside" of the "conduit" (on the front of the mast) does not appear to be something I could easily slide out, but I don't know I haven't tried.

Thanks!
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Old 31-07-2015, 10:58   #2
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

When I did it I ran two new conduits of PVC pipe up the mast and then also used that 'channel' at the back of the mast for the VHF cable.

Pics and description here

Get wire lube and a cable fish like this http://www.amazon.ca/Gardner-Bender-.../dp/B000BP7WBO
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:01   #3
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

Since you will be using LED's you can use much smaller wire.


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Old 31-07-2015, 11:03   #4
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

Conduit in the mast is not unusual. By changing to LED, you can probably go smaller gauge wire, thereby giving more room. Tie messengers ( pull lines ) to the various opening before pulling back the old cable. Pull all messengers, with new wire simultaneously. Tends to eliminate some of the twisting of the various wires.
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:04   #5
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

It isn't the size of the hole which worries me, its the fact that they first wired it, and then slid a sailtrack into the mast extrusion. Unless you can remove the sailtrack, it is going to be really hard to work on.
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:40   #6
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

If it's anything like mine, the sailtrack slides right out
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:48   #7
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

Leave at least one extra messenger when your all done for the future
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Old 31-07-2015, 18:00   #8
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian28 View Post
Since you will be using LED's you can use much smaller wire...
Actually you cannot. Much smaller wires may not be self supporting.
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Old 31-07-2015, 19:09   #9
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

I dont see any inner plastic conduit, what i see is a BS previous work trying to slide the wires through the mast track for the mainsail? quite wrong but the only hope for you is 1. run the wires through this mast track chanel and keep going or 2 run a inner PVC conduit inside of the mast and run the wires through there.. Cheers.
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Old 31-07-2015, 19:37   #10
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

Don't use aluminum pop rivets. Use stainless ones, available at West Marine or better hardware stores. Borrow a high strength pop riveter from a rigger or electrician. Add an extra conduit for future stuff that you aren't even thinking about now, for radar, instruments, AIS antenna or VHF, or (again) stuff you haven't even thought about yet.

Here are some pictures of how to install the pop rivets. I suggest placing two or three holes, 3/16" or equivalent for metric pop rivets, horizontally, every 3 feet (or one meter) vertically. The reason is to use the center hole to place the conduit support when drilling and pop-riveting. When all done, fill the center hole with a pop rivet for a clean look. One conduit can go just high enough to reach the area where you would place a radar, foredeck light. steaming light,and hailer/fog horn, just below the lower spreaders, generally. Then the other goes all the way to the masthead. I use electrical cable, not individual wires. Don't wire tie them together!

While you are doing this (I'm assuming you have removed the mast to work on level surface), take the time to disassemble EVERYTHING on the mast, replace ALL of the existing fasteners, electrical wiring, coax, etc., repaint the mast and lube all the sheaves. You don't get a chance to do this work often. REPLACE YOUR COMPRESSION POSTS AND BOLTS HOLDING THE TANGS IN PLACE.
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Old 31-07-2015, 23:23   #11
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Re: Mast rewiring advice

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I will post pictures when I am done and let you know how I faired. Fair winds.
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